Can you tell which one of the above dials is the fake one?
The first two pictures, supplied by Omega collector, Phil Cooper, are the genuine articles! So, how can you tell?
The first thing that should raise suspicion is NOS cross-hair dials - they seem to be everywhere at the moment - presenting as shiny, new and seemingly factory made. They're not! Well, at least not at Omega factories anyway.
The next giveaway is the date surround. Note how the surrounds on first two examples are bevelled to make the top and bottom bars of the surround look slightly concave. Close inspection will reveal multiple bevelling to create this pleasing and detailed effect. Note the absense of the effect on the third example.
Note also how the bevelling on the surrounds on the genuine dials creates an eight sided effect on the upper parts of the surround, whereas in the fake example is uniformly rounded at the upper and lower parts of the surround.
The third sign is in the Constellation lettering. The first indicator is the thickness of the script. The second is inaccuracies in the lettering. For example where the S loops to the T in CONST the fake dial loops higher than the genuine lettering. The I is not dotted in the fake dial but is always dotted in genuine dials and notice how the Ns are formed differently.
The fourth sign is that the hands of the fake dial have black inserts, whereas the dial has written "Swiss Made T" at six o'clock. The T indicates luminosity of either the markers or the hands and is never found on authentic dials and hands that do not have lume on either the markers or the hands.
Someone, somewhere is manufacturing fake dials and probably cases too, and as the values appreciate for Pie Pan Constellations, do expect to see more fakes around.
Phil Cooper also said that Omega in Bienne now replaces damaged PiePan dials with rounded and not twelve-sided dials as they no longer have stock of the latter.
The lesson from this exercise is that there are some very clever fakes circulating, and it behoves collectors to build up a good reference library of large pics of authentic dials and cases so a comparison can be made. Often the naked eye is not enough to spot the diferences.
For more information on identifying Franken and inauthentic Connies please click here